HOYLAKE, England – A couple of moments after reigning Open Champion Cameron Smith bought emotional when returning the Claret Jug he is had for a yr, the Australian delivered a message on the way forward for LIV Golf within the wake of the PGA Tour’s framework settlement with the Public Funding Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF).
“There’s clearly numerous issues which are up within the air that nobody actually is aware of in the intervening time,” Smith stated at a press convention, Monday, previous to the 151st Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Membership. “There’s numerous uncertainty, however I am optimistic LIV shall be round sooner or later.”
It was this time final yr that Smith put collectively a final-round 64 to surpass Rory McIlroy and outlast Cameron Younger to win the one hundred and fiftieth Open at St. Andrews solely to, shortly after the event, grow to be LIV Golf’s greatest acquisition since its inception.
Earlier this month, at LIV’s London occasion, which Smith gained, he stated he thought his win on the Previous Course was barely “overshadowed” by questions on his future that he bought on the post-championship press convention. On Monday, Smith seemed again on the final 12 months and reiterated that the choice to go to LIV was “disturbing” however one he doesn’t remorse.
“It does look like a very long time in the past, final yr,” Smith stated. “I’ve stated, up to now, the PGA TOUR is a good place to play golf, and it will likely be for a really very long time. I do not assume there was any a part of me that made me assume I made the flawed choice all through any a part of the final eight or 9 months.”
Whereas the golf world has been consumed with the facility wrestle between LIV and the PGA Tour and, now, the USA Senate’s investigation into their proposed partnership, Smith has as a substitute chosen to focus extra on maintaining the Claret Jug in his possession.
“I wasn’t part of all of the lawsuit stuff,” Smith stated. “I attempted to remain as far-off from that as potential.”
The 29-year-old added that he believes nobody participant is aware of precisely how the continued framework settlement will shake out however, past remaining assured in LIV’s future, Smith additionally stated that he would really like present LIV CEO Greg Norman to stay concerned within the league.
Norman, who has been the fiery voice behind LIV’s push to upend golf, has light from the highlight in latest months as PIF chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan has been the face of the fund’s ongoing negotiations to associate with the PGA Tour. PGA Tour officers pushed to oust Norman because the CEO of LIV throughout the tour’s negotiations with the DP World Tour and the PIF, in response to paperwork launched by the U.S. Senate Everlasting Subcommittee on Investigations.
“I believe I’ve sort of grow to be a little bit of a good friend of Greg the final eight or 9 months,” Smith stated. “Personally I believe he is doing a fantastic job for our Tour. He is looking for our greatest pursuits. That is all you’ll be able to ask of a man that is working the present. I might like to see him carry on.”
Regardless of his opinions on the rival tour, Smith stated that it doesn’t give him any additional motivation in making an attempt to defend his title this week at Royal Liverpool. As a substitute, he stated it could be “a cool story” to have a rematch of kinds with the PGA’s Rory McIlroy, who completed within the prime three of the Open final yr and is coming off a win Sunday within the Scottish Open.
Smith says that after profitable LIV’s occasion in London and paying extra consideration to element on the course not too long ago, he feels that he has the correct amount of confidence and momentum heading into this week’s Open Championship.
“It is slightly little bit of a piece in progress,” Smith stated. “I believe as a golfer, I believe I am really a greater golfer now than what I used to be final yr.”